Generalising Asymmetric Coordination with Resumptive Pronoun: A Syntactic Analysis of Certain Dislocations in Biblical Hebrew

“Theoretical Approaches to Anaphora and Pronouns in Biblical Hebrew”: Papers forming part of the 2017 SBL Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Seminar (Boston, USA)


  • Vincent DeCaen University of Toronto



syntactic analysis, pronoun, coordination, hanging topic


This study clearly distinguishes Biblical Hebrew topicalisation (fronting) from the hanging topic construction (extraposition) within the framework of the Minimalist Program. Topicalisation involves the movement of some constituent into [spec,TopP] resulting in a gap. In contrast, the hanging topic is not moved but rather base-generated in [spec,&P]. Thus, extraposition is simply a special case of asymmetric coordination. In addition, this study explains how and why these distinct constructions are easily and generally confused. On the one hand, verb movement into the left periphery may render the relative position of constituents opaque. On the other hand, and more importantly, Biblical Hebrew is a robust pro-drop language. Consequently, there may be some ambiguity between the gap resulting from clause-internal topicalisation and the apparent gap of a null subject pronoun resuming a clause-external hanging topic.


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